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Get Safely Back Into the Swing of Family Sports

The crack of the bat, the bounce of the basketball, the swing of the golf club, tennis racket or hockey stick — no doubt, most families missed playing sports together due to COVID-19. Health experts tell us that physical activity is vital for our physical and mental wellbeing. Now, more than ever, playing outdoors is the safest way to stay fit and have fun during this ongoing pandemic.

The Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience® at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is ready for your safe return when you are ready. Staff created new ways of having “really clean” fun in nearly a dozen sports areas.

Each area has reduced capacity so that you and your family can social distance while playing together. It wouldn’t be sports without equipment, but to keep it sanitized, staff needs your help. Every time you choose a piece of equipment, you will be asked to wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe before and after play. Maybe think about cleaning as a family game. When Mary Poppins wanted her charges to clean their room, she sang, “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game.” And don’t forget masks are required for everyone 2 years of age and older unless a medical condition prevents wearing one.

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So, what about the fun, you ask? Coaches will guide your family through fun and action-packed opportunities called Legendary Challenges. “We have inclusive and family-centric games and challenges to introduce the fundamentals of sports,” says Caleb Bailey, director of Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience. “In these Legendary Challenges, families hear inspirational stories about our Old National Bank Avenue of Champion Legends, such as Oscar Robertson, Wayne Gretzky and more while playing a fast-paced game.”

Learning the fundamentals of any sport is important. Grownups, you don’t need to know all the rules and fundamentals at the Riley Sports Legends Experience. Encourage your kids to try something new and let the coaches do the teaching. “Positive Coaching Alliance partnership is helping establish our guiding principles of how we coach,” Bailey says. “We believe wholeheartedly on focusing on the efforts and the process. We do not focus on the outcome. We’re all about trying to encourage kids and families to have fun and use positive reinforcement to get them to be healthy and active through sports.”

To get in the game, please remember that everyone must reserve a ticket in advance — including members. Click on childrensmuseum.org/visit/buy-tickets to save your spot.

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